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What tenses should I use after these adverbs, Present Simple or Present Perfect? Is it possible to use the Future Simple?

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closed as too broad by FumbleFingers, Walter, Jonathan Garber, hjpotter92, Persian Cat Jul 18 '13 at 1:40

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Present perfect conveys a sense of the end of the action, whereas present simple conveys a sense of the beginning or middle. For example,

As soon as I have eaten, I will help you with that.

As soon as I eat, my stomach starts grumbling.

The first sentence refers to once the eating is done, but the second sentence refers to when the eating starts. Simple future is never used here.

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  1. In the context you appear to be asking about, none of these words acts as an adverb. If is a conjunction, while before, after and as soon as are prepositions.

  2. Depending on circumstances, both simple present and present perfect may be used with any of these.

    If I understand you correctly, I disagree.
    If I have understood you correctly, I disagree.

    I will send you the paper before I finish it.
    I will send you the paper before I have finished it.

    I will send you the paper after I finish it.
    I will send you the paper after I have finished it.

    I will send you the paper as soon as I find it.
    I will send you the paper as soon as I have found it.

  3. What you call "simple future", the construction with WILL + bare infinitive, is not ordinarily used with any of these in a futurive sense. On occasion, you may find will employed in place of the more usual do after the prepositions when a) the prepositional clause follows a main clause with will AND b) the infinitive which complements will in the prepositional clause is omitted:

    I will finish before/after/as soon as you will ... representing
    I will finish before/after/as soon as you finish.

    Moreover, this construction is also used in what is called a volitional sense, signifying "willingness". In this sense it may be used with if:

    I'll be happy to come if you will pay my expenses.

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protected by Tyler James Young May 2 '14 at 13:28

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